One of the hardest things for people to accept is the notion that everything that they say, think and do stems from their brains’ innate, and ravenous, desire to acquire power and/or to use it - at all times.
And the hardcore version of this notion is that nothing else motivates people.
In short, this would state that if your brain believes that doing something will empower you, then it will - through the projection of various emotions into your consciousness - do its best to propel you into doing it.
Conversely, your brain will dissuade you from doing anything that it believes will disempower you.
And, if you view normal human functioning in this manner, it seems to be much easier to understand what is going on. At the individual level, for example, looking for the reasons why people function in the way that they do by thinking about power, is much easier than trying to figure out the same things using Freud, Jung, Adler etc . It is a much more direct approach, and it seems to fit the facts without the need to postulate hugely complex theories and various, tortuous, often unbelievable, woolly notions.
I have already given some examples of the way in which power is the key in the four posts entitled SuperOrganisms.
And in conversations with friends, they have often thrown at me some examples of human actions which might be difficult to account for with such a simplistic view. And yet, I always seem to manage to account for them, quite credibly, without too much difficulty.
Surely, this must mean something. Or am I fooling myself?
Here is a hard example.
A man is sitting in his armchair watching TV. An advert for a charity pops on to the screen, asking for money to help the victims of a tsunami in another country. The man picks up the phone and he donates $50.
Question: Why would he do this? Answer: It gives him pleasure.
Question: Why does it give him pleasure? Answer: He is empowering himself and/or exerting power; both of which are pleasurable. (Exerting power must be pleasurable or we wouldn’t exert it.)
Question: How is he exerting power? Possible Answer: He is having (what his brain thinks) is a significant effect upon someone’s life
Question: How can donating empower him?
Well, there could be many possible answers to this. For example, the unconscious brain could be making the followng computations …
“Hmm. When the taxman checks my accounts, he’ll think that I’m a good person. Score 5.”
“Hmm. When I went to church when I was young, I was taught that I would more likely get to Heaven if I do good things. I suspect that this might be true. Score 20.”
“Hmm. In the same way that solving a puzzle gives me more confidence (and, hence, power) in myself, thereby allowing me to act more effectively in the world, so it is that donating gives me more confidence in my goodness, thereby allowing me to act more effectively in the world. Score 3.”
“Hmm. I shall be able to let the occasional person know that I have made a donation to a good cause, which will likely make them more amenable to me. Score 5.”
In short, there could be many factors - all to do with empowering oneself - that summate together to produce an appropriate emotion to donate money at this point in time.
Well, the above example (Why donate money?) was a hard one to explain. Most other behaviours are much easier to explain - because you can usually more readily see their connections to power; e.g. people go out to work to earn money, and money leads to power.
But, again I want to stress that your brain does not tell you ‘the truth’ about why you feel the way that you do.
The donating man in the above example might well have the following thoughts pumped into his conscious mind.
“Those tsunami victims need help, I feel sorry for them. I can’t really afford $50, but I am going to donate anyway.”
So, this is a good guy. He really is a good guy. He has done the right thing. And he is having the right thoughts. It’s good to be generous in such situations, and to feel sorry for people who are in need. And his brain leads him to do the good thing. So, he is definitely a good guy.
But he did it to acquire power for himself.
And this is what we all do. All the time.
Indeed, what do most people dread the most?
Death - and severe disability. IOW, a huge loss of power.
And what would they like the most to possess?
The world at their fingertips. IOW, maximum power.
It really is all about power. We are terrified of losing a lot of it, and we are very much delighted when we gain a lot of it.
And those huge SuperOrganisms are no different.
They are just armies of people (along with all their ideas and their resources) seeking power (collectively-ish) as best as they can.
Indeed, human bodies are also just armies, armies of cells (along with all their processes and their resources) seeking power (collectively-ish) as best as they can.
There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two.
In short, there is something interesting going on round here.
So, my advice is to keep a close eye on the persistent quest for Power and on those SuperOrganisms because, together, they seem to be controlling everything that we say, think and do.